Let's end the weekend with some winners and hope college sports stop doing things nobody was asking them to do for a few days.
All times Eastern | Game odds via SportsLine consensus
🔥 The Hot Ticket
- The Pick: Rockies (+154)
- Key trend: Adam Wainwright has a 7.18 ERA. The Cardinals are 5-8 when he starts and 26-36 as a favorite this season.
I won't lie; my brain is scrambled right now. Between conference realignment and private equity investments in programs, I feel as though I've been hit in the head repeatedly, and I don't know where the next blow is coming from. So, I need something to grab hold of to find my bearings.
I need a Principle.
That principle is fading Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals as favorites. I don't care that the Colorado Rockies stink just as badly, if not worse, than the Cardinals. It doesn't matter. What matters is what's right, and what's right is not betting on Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals as favorites.
Wainwright is toast. He's not in much better shape than the Pac-12 and enters the night with a 7.18 ERA. The Cardinals have gone 5-8 in his 13 starts, and Waino has allowed at least two runs in every game he's pitched this season. In his last five starts, he has 10.89 ERA.
Now, as I said, the Rockies aren't what anybody would consider good. Their starter, Chris Flexen, is just about as bad as Wainwright. The primary difference is he strikes a few more hitters out and walks a bunch more but doesn't allow nearly as much hard contact.
So, he's not somebody you typically want to be betting on, but this is one of those cases where neither team deserves to be favored against anybody, so bet the underdog. The fact St. Louis is 26-36 when favored this year doesn't hurt, either.
Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: Both the Projection Model and SportsLine's Matt Severance are on the Cardinals tonight, because they do not understand Principle.
The Pick: Blue Jays (+135) -- Toronto starter Alek Manoah was seen as one of the reasons the Blue Jays would compete for the AL East in 2023. Coming off a 16-7 season when he finished with a 2.24 ERA and finished third in Cy Young voting, why wouldn't he have been? Well, entering tonight, he's 2-8 with a 5.87 ERA, and after walking 51 hitters in 196.2 innings all last year, he's walked 54 in 76.2 innings this season. All that said, I still find value on the Jays tonight at this price.
James Paxton has had a much stronger season for Boston, but the Red Sox are in a funk. After starting July with a blistering 15-5 record, they've lost four of five, and the bullpen has been quite leaky. That makes it hard to finish games. My numbers have the Jays at more of a (+120) dog in the matchup, so to get them at (+135) is too much to pass up.
The Pick: Rangers (-142) -- The Rangers grabbed attention when they traded for Max Scherzer before the trade deadline, and while it's deserved, I felt the shrewder move was adding Jordan Montgomery. Montgomery is not (nor will he ever be) Scherzer, but he's the kind of improvement around the margins that can pay big dividends for a team making a run at the postseason. Plus, statistically, Montgomery has been better than Scherzer in some key areas this season.
He makes his Rangers debut tonight against the Marlins. Miami added a few bats to its lineup at the deadline, but I don't think it'll be enough in the long run, nor is it enough to close the gap on a Rangers team I believe to be superior tonight. Texas is coming off a sweep of the White Sox and has been fantastic at home all season, going 37-20, including 30-15 when favored. The return of Corey Seager has been a boost to the offense and defense. I like Texas' chances both tonight and in October.
🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: Make sure to check out R.J. White's 2020 NFL futures betting guide.